Hintere Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

Public Lecture 13.04.2023

13. April 2023

Titel: "Patterns, tendencies and idiosyncratic habits in political language" - D2.2.228 - 13.04.2023, 17:00


Politics is a field of human activity that relies extensively on the careful and intentional use of language. Throughout history, there have been specific instances of political speaking that have become enshrined in culture (“I have a dream…”, “ask not what your country can do for you…”, “we shall fight on the beaches…”), but it is also evident that political speaking has gone through meaningful changes over time, and that there is much to be gained from the systematic analysis of not only individual speech events, but of political speaking as a genre that both responds to and shapes public attitudes and sensitivities.

This two-part talk will begin with a discussion of corpus-based research into political language use, closely aligned with the field of Corpus-aided Discourse Studies (CADS). After an overview of the field and existing resources, the focus will turn to the Diachronic Corpus of Political Speeches (DCPS), currently compiled at Linnaeus University and Université Paris Nanterre. Discussing the origins, design principles and features of DCPS, we will consider the pros and cons of rich metadata in corpus compilation and the importance of distinguishing between descriptive variables and those used for systematic stratification. Attention will also be paid to the importance of multimodal analysis.

In the second part of the talk, we will discuss political speeches as a specific type of culturally and societally significant discourse, with particular reference to the value of establishing baseline evidence of linguistic practice through empirical analysis. Findings concerning both well-known rhetorical devices and entirely data-driven observations will be juxtaposed against contemporary historical, political and technological developments to show the sensitivity of political speaking to the context in which speeches are delivered. The case studies presented will draw on both DCPS and other corpus resources on political language, such as the Hansard Corpus.


Jukka Tyrkkö is Professor of English Linguistics at Linnaeus University, Sweden. His research interests extend from the Middle Ages to the present day, focusing on a wide range of topics including corpus linguistic methodology, lexis and phraseology, the history of medical writing, multilingualism, historical lexicography, the language of politics and history of the book. He has compiled a number of historical corpora and he develops corpus linguistic software. His most recent edited volume is “Multilingualism from Manuscript to 3D: Intersections of Modalities from Medieval to Modern Times” (edited with Matylda Włodarczyk and Elżbieta Adamczyk, 2023). ORCID: 0000-0001-5251-5338.

zurück zur Übersicht